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Working for downtown South Boston’s transformation

South Boston News
From left, first row, Matt Wagner, vice president of Revitalization Programs, National Main Street, Mary Bagwell, owner of Southern Plenty Café and Gene Haugh of Destination Downtown South Boston. Second row, Tamyra Vest, DDSB executive director, Lisa Francisco and Cindy Overby of Factory Street Brewing Company, Kisha Jackson of KJ’s Cake Creations and Lin Hite of Longwood Small Business Development. Not pictured, Rebecca Rowe of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, Jessica Hartness of Virginia Main Street and South Boston Town Manager Tom Raab. / February 27, 2020

Setting a strategy to rejuvenate the downtown district was the aim of a Destination Downtown South Boston workshop Wednesday that drew on the expertise of National Main Street, Virginia Main Street, and the Department of Housing and Community Development.

In the past two weeks, more than 100 people have offered their ideas for the future of downtown South Boston by participating in an online survey. The survey was undertaken to help workshop facilitators and town leaders gain a better perspective about downtown’s current condition and image, and the community’s vision and hopes for the historic commercial district.

“The survey was shared via Facebook, Halifax County Chamber of Commerce, and HYPE (Halifax Young Professional and Entrepreneurs),” said Tamyra Vest, executive director of Destination Downtown.

The survey posed 10 questions, such as asking respondents for three words that come to mind when thinking about Downtown South Boston and what businesses or attractions they would like to see.

The Main Street team will work with local participants to review input from the public and market findings to develop a transformation strategy for downtown over the next three to five years.

The all-day workshop included a tour of downtown for the visiting National Main Street facilitators, and a meeting with key stakeholders — downtown property owners, realtors, civic leaders and business owners.

After the walking tour, local business owners, Destination Downtown board members, and workshop facilitators met upstairs at Southern Plenty to continue their discussions on a strategy for the future of Downtown South Boston.

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